Thursday, February 1, 2018

Not All Doom And Gloom For Arsenal

After a new year which started with a gentle undercurrent of trepidation from Arsenal fans, they can now find solace in the fact that, not only is the club not in complete disarray, but perhaps, better off. While Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud left The Emirates, both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang arrived to the delight of the Arsenal faithful. Moreover, Mesut Ozil's contract extension meant it was smiles all round at The Emirates.

As much as Arsenal fans reluctantly admitted it, Sanchez simply had to leave due to the hostile nature that was being stirred up in the changing room. No man is bigger than a club and the detrimental effect that Sanchez' insatiable demeanour was having on the rest of the team was more than it was worth.

Mkhitaryan was brought in as part of a swap deal, which was a sufficient replacement in many regards, but perhaps didn't provide the same game-changing ability that Sanchez possesses. This forced Wenger's hand into doing something he often shies away from - spending copious amounts of money.

Although not turning heads as much as he was two or three seasons ago, Aubameyang is still very much a desirable player for many top European clubs - hence his £60 million price tag. His raw pace and natural scoring ability give him that edge that make him comparable to players such as Sanchez.

Although Giroud effectively left to complete the striker-triangle involving himself, Aubameyang and Batshuayi, it is a move that will benefit him as his presence on the Arsenal bench was becoming an all too familiar sight.

Mesut Ozil's contract extension comes as somewhat of a surprise as it was often believed that if Sanchez were to go, that Ozil would soon follow suit and also pack his bags. It was also important to maintain his services as it makes Arsenal an enticing club for reputable players.

Arsenal have been the league's dramatic underachievers in recent seasons as their team, on paper, often leads the spectator to expect a consistent and dominating side, but this hasn't always been the case. While the arrival of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan are welcome, it remains to be seen if Arsenal can now excel on the pitch.


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